Lead’s View: All Eyes on the Masters

Lead’s View: All Eyes on The Masters

November 11, 2020

Strange times indeed, both generally and in golf.  The fact that the Masters is being played in November and then six months later in April is tough to comprehend.  No patrons, no ropes, no roars or energy from the crowd reverberating through the trees on Sunday afternoon on the back nine, no azaleas and no observer bleachers all make for a surreal atmosphere.

I am sure though, that when the bell goes off, the players will very quickly be into their competitive mode. They have had time to adapt to no spectators and the past few months have produced some outstanding golf. 

Augusta in the fall should be something truly special.

Slightly different conditions will prevail in November than April. The course, with its heavy watering to grow in the winter grass, plus the projected rainfall this week, will make the course play softer compared to the firmer conditions in April. So overall the course will play longer and should favor the long hitters.

The grasses are transitioning from warm weather bermuda to cool weather rye and could produce some “iffy” lies, particularly around the greens. The bent grass greens with subair to suck the moisture out will be pretty similar to what the players experience in April – firm and fast. The good “holer outers” from 4 to 6 feet for par seem to be part of the makeup of the winners through the years. It’s not easy leaving your approach putt within tap in range at Augusta National.

In these strange times, and with this quality of play from the field, it’s truly anyone’s game.

So who are my top ten list of potential winners this week?  So here we go in no particular order. 

  • John Rahm
  • Bryson Dechambeau 
  • Patrick Cantlay 
  • Tyrell Hatton
  • Xander Schauffele
  • Dustin Johnson 
  • Rory McIlroy
  • Patrick Reed
  • Justin Thomas
  • Brooks Koepka

This is a pretty stellar list. And Tiger did not make the list as he is not in top form – but you never know.

It’s a very open tournament… unless of course, big Bryson turns Augusta National into a pitch and putt venue.  We will all eagerly observe.

May all your lies be good ones,